CRM Tools for Nonprofits

CRM and Marketing Automation: The Difference Between Them – And Why You Need Both

Your customer relationship manager (CRM) tool and marketing automation software are two essential tools in the modern business strategy.

Marketing automation can help businesses plan and deploy their marketing campaign assets. In contrast, CRM helps track leads that grow from those engagements and manage their customers’ database and all business interactions such as orders, phone calls, and more.

The relationship between the CRM and marketing automation is very important. Both technologies can give you an insight into your relationships with customers and help you improve both your marketing strategies and sales processes.

What Is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps organizations increase productivity and streamline processes across departments where customer interaction is critical.

A simple CRM system is a sales-focused technology, but it can also benefit marketing and customer support teams. Some standard features of CRM software include, but are not limited to:

Customer management: Allows users to monitor a comprehensive overview of customers, leads, and other contacts. Customer management provides a view of contact information, notes, related documents, email, and a history of the individual’s relationship with your brand.

Pipeline management: Allows users the access to a visual representation of their sales pipeline. Enable users to view real-time analytics and other in-context statistics to course-correct and manage campaign strategies.

Cross-channel engagement: Enable users to track social media engagement (posts, likes, and tweets) and receive real-time notifications. Many CRM products allow you to integrate this information with other related tools.

Mobile access: Some CRM solutions include partial or complete access on a mobile device, which is very helpful to organizations that need easy and constant access to their information.

Third-party integration: CRM software has increasingly become a vital piece of the puzzle for sales and marketing, but organizations do not always want to do everything in one application. Allows for integration with other third-party marketing software, which allows you to tailor your technology stack.

Flexible pricing: Companies of different sizes or industries will require a tailored solution, making multi-level pricing an attractive option. This allows businesses to select packages that address their individual needs.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation software provides a streamlined way for teams to launch marketing campaigns and automate repetitive tasks.

Picking the correct solution depends almost entirely on your organization’s individual needs.Businesses that want to quickly improve conversions, and generate leads have started engaging content marketing services to assist them.

Similarly, picking the tailor-made solution can help you in your marketing strategies to a large extent.

Company size, industry, environment, and existing business practices will influence how functional marketing automation can be.

Basic marketing automation capabilities enable you to:

  • Automatically send emails and replies to your entire contacts list using out-of-the-box templates or build custom ones from scratch. Revamp your resources mid-campaign to create more personalized emails and achieve better results.
  • Dynamically group your leads and other email contacts based on their interests, changing behavior, and characteristics.
  • Utilize automation workflows – tasks are automatically performed in response to a specific trigger or according to a set of rules and predefined conditions.
  • Automatically personalize messages for each customer based on demographic data.
  • Score leads as they pass through your pipeline to identify sales opportunities.

The Differences Between CRM and Marketing Automation

Both CRM and marketing automation are essential to your business, but they serve different purposes though complementary. Some of the differences include:

  • As we discussed before, CRM software is sales-focused, while marketing automation is used by marketing.
  • Marketing automation primarily works to generate leads, nurture those leads, and then qualify leads that are most likely to convert to customers; CRM usually picks up the process and try to nurture leads into opportunities, closed deals, and won business.
  • CRM is a better “customer” tool and gives sales teams and customer service a better idea of past order history, business contacts, and even tracks customer interactions like emails, phone calls, chats, and more.
  • Depending on your business, you may need one solution more than the other. Still, most marketing automation tools let you sync data from your CRM tool so that you can manage all activity from one database.

Why You Need Both Marketing Automation and CRM Softwares

The most significant benefit of having both pieces of technology is that one flows naturally into another. Marketing automation helps show businesses their prospects and makes sales much more effortless.

Sales teams can put their tactics into action and drive revenue from these leads. While their purposes are different, they work together and are both crucial parts of managing and nurturing new and existing customer relationships.

One way that sales teams are empowered through marketing automation is that it can also provide insight into customer interest and behavior.

If sales teams know which marketing assets brought prospective customers into the lead queue or what behavior the marketing automation software captured. In that case, sales teams can better understand their prospect’s interests and needs. This can help a sales team build a better, faster relationship with a customer.

Additionally, both CRM and marketing automation are crucial to the customer experience. Marketing automation provides insight into exactly what customers find engaging and essential and allows businesses to change their approach based on their findings.

This leads to better-personalized marketing materials that resonate more with customers and better position your business as the solution they need.

Armed with this knowledge, sales teams can offer every customer a consistent, personalized experience. With these two tools, sales teams empower both sales and marketing to deliver a better customer experience across the board in every interaction.

Finally, marketing automation is vital to sales when it is helping to add new customers to the CRM database – through automated email outreach and other marketing channels, it can also help grow existing client business. It is a crucial tool in encouraging repeat business, helping salespeople upsell, and encouraging customer loyalty.

End Goals

Marketing automation is designed to help generate qualified marketing leads to be handed over to sales. Meanwhile, CRM’s goal is to convert marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads and ultimately boost sales.

Marketing qualified leads pertain to involved leads, while sales qualified leads refer to vetted prospects. Although the respective goals are different, Marketing Automation and CRM have complementary roles in the effort to transform leads into customers.


Using both CRM and marketing automation software gives you a deeper insight into how your business grows and why. These insights are invaluable when it comes to growing your business, training your sales team, optimizing your marketing and outreach efforts, and effectively establishing and managing your customer relationships.

About Ambika Taylor

Myself Ambika Taylor. I am admin of For any business query, you can contact me at [email protected]